Helping Children Help Others

A Child is Born

A Child is Born

In the midst of Typhoon Haiyan, a little baby girl is born. It reminds us of renewal, hope, and the promises of God in the eye of the storm. This baby came into this world in circumstances that most of us can only imagine. What can our children do to offer love to this baby and other babies who have lost homes and parents and the life their parents imagined?

As United Methodists, we show up for those in need following storms through the UM Committee on Relief – UMCOR.  Children are wonderful givers, and during a time when we all feel so helpless there is something they can do to extend love to our neighbors in the Philippines and babies like this little one. Layette Kits are simple and easy for even young children to make and send as part of their mission and ministry in the world.

Directions for making Layette Kits: layettekit13

Pattern and Directions for Layette Nightgowns layettenightgownpattern12

*Collection Information: Relief Supply Network

RESOURCES

Elmo Explains Hurricanes

Flash, Crash, Rumble, and Roll by Franklyn M. Branley

To Everything by Bob Barner

Hurricane by David Wiesner

peace,
melanie

X

Children’s Fund for Christian Mission Resources Available

CMF2013vertical_collage

What is the Children’s Fund?

The United Methodist Children’s Fund for Christian Mission allows your children to be in mission across state lines or around the globe — from within your local church. Children learn about and raise money for projects selected annually by GBGM (General Board of Global Ministry) through teaching activities developed by GBOD. Money raised is distributed equally by GBGM among the specially chosen projects.

What resources are available to help us participate?

Information about the mission projects and stories from their children personalize the experience. We suggest exercises to make this a fun learning experience for all ages. Use fundraising ideas included or design your own.

Participate as a congregation or as a children-only mission education program in

Sunday school classes a mission fair
VBS a children’s sermon
the children’s choir the church newsletter
a church family retreat a home study
fellowship groups a seasonal study
before- or after-school programs bulletin boards

How do I participate? Go to Children’s Fund for Christian Mission website to get started today!

Hunger in America

In the late nineties, I taught in a school that was what we would call a Title 1 school. 98% of the children in the school received free or reduced lunch. Parents worked several minimum wage jobs to keep roofs over their heads and clothe their families. Many of the children lived in homes where drug use, prostitution, and violence were a part of life. On weekends, I would hide ready-to-eat food items in their backpacks so that they had something to eat before Monday morning breakfast in the school cafeteria. I hid the food because sometimes older siblings or adults would steal the food from the child. Several times I reported, testified, and made home visits in the interest of caring for those wonderful little ones. As my uncle says, “You can do ministry anywhere”.

In the Gospel According to Matthew, we hear the word of the Lord, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” Anytime we reach out in love to feed those who are hungry, care for those who are sick, clothe those who are naked, we are serving God and our neighbor. We must remember that sometimes the need is obvious, but there are times when we need to look deeper to see the need and answer it.

As with so many problems in the United States, it takes celebrity or tragedy to bring our deep issues to the mainstream. NGO’s, Faith-based Organizations, State and Federal Programs, and Congregations have been working for years to meet the needs of the hungry. Now, Top Chef producer and judge, Tom Colicchio gives us a film that gets to the heart of the matter – A Place at the Table. 

People of God must continue to respond to the needs of children who live at or below the poverty line. Much of that response is for children who live thousands of miles away whose needs are visibly apparent. Right now, within a two-mile radius of so many of us, children are hungry. How are we serving those who do not necessarily “look” hungry? It is not an either/or proposition. It is both/and! As children of God, we have the responsibility to feed them all, giving everyone a place at God’s table.

peace,
melanie

RESOURCES:

Feeding America - Food insecurity is harmful to any individual, it can be particularly devastating among children due to their increased vulnerability and the potential for long-term consequences

Bread for the World - Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s leaders to end hunger at home and abroad

Society of St. Andrew - Gleaning America’s Fields and Feeding America’s Hungry

Stop Hunger Now –  An international hunger relief organization that coordinates the distribution of food and other life-saving aid around the world

State of Children in the United States – Map of the state of America’s children